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«By Lene Lundervold Department of Foreign Languages University of Bergen May 2013 ii SUMMARY IN NORWEGIAN Målet for denne oppgaven har vært å se ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Harry Potter and the Different

Accents

A sociolinguistic study of language attitudes in Harry

Potter and Game of Thrones.

By

Lene Lundervold

Department of Foreign Languages

University of Bergen

May 2013

ii

SUMMARY IN NORWEGIAN

Målet for denne oppgaven har vært å se på hvorvidt språkholdninger fremtrer i Harry Potter-

filmene og i den første sesongen av TV-serien Game of Thrones. De åtte Harry Potter-

filmene er alle adaptasjoner av J.K. Rowlings syv bøker i serien med samme navn. Den første sesongen av Game of Thrones er en adaptasjon av den første boken i George R.R. Martins, ikke fullførte, serie A Song of Ice and Fire. Oppgavens undertittel kan oversettes på følgene måte: ”En sosiolingvistisk studie av språkholdninger i Harry Potter og Game of Thrones”.

Oppgaven går ut på å undersøke om det finnes et systematisk mønster mellom karaktertrekk og uttalevarianter (”accents”) i filmene. Et av delmålene er å se om disse mønstrene eventuelt samsvarer for både filmene og TV-serien, og om disse igjen samsvarer med tidligere forskning på språkholdninger.

Av de underliggende hypotesene var det forventet å finne lignende språkholdninger i både Harry Potter og i Game of Thrones med tanke på kjønn, om karakterene var sofistikerte og sympatiske, og om de var gode eller onde. Det var også forventet å finne forskjeller mellom de to, fordi de har forskjellige målgrupper. Harry Potter er i hovedsak rettet mot barn, mens Game of Thrones rettet mot et mer voksent publikum. Det var også forventet å finne en viss sammenheng mellom uttalevarianter brukt i Game of Thrones og karakterenes geografiske tilhørighet.

Det kommer frem av resultatene at språkholdninger i stor grad er tilstede i datamaterialet, og man ser et systematisk mønster. Når man går i detalj blir det klart at det er forskjeller mellom menn og kvinner, og man ser at kvinner har en tendens til å bruke en mer standardisert dialekt (Received Pronunciation). Et annet funn er at majoriteten av karakterene som er sett på som mer sofistikerte, også snakker en standardisert britisk dialekt. En studie som denne oppgaven i stor grad er basert på, er Rosina Lippi-Greens (1997) studie av språkholdninger i animerte Disney-filmer. Selv om hennes studie er basert på amerikanske aksenter, er det mulig å sammenligne noen av hovedresultatene. I Lippi-Greens studie kommer det frem at mange av hovedkarakterene og heltene snakker en mer standardisert dialekt enn de andre karakterene. I denne studien er vinklingen en litt annet siden ”Received Pronunciation” er representert i alle karakterroller. Lippi-Green fant også at engelsk med utenlandsk aksent i hovedsak ble brukt av karakterer med negative trekk. Igjen er bildet mer nyansert i denne studien ettersom flere sofistikerte og sympatiske karakterer snakker med en utenlandsk aksent.

–  –  –

First and foremost I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Stephanie Hazel Wold, for taking on the project and for guiding and inspiring me throughout the course of this year. I would also like to thank my fellow students and friends for supporting me and for keeping me sane the last couple of months. Special thanks are due to Birte Myklebust, Espen Morland, Maria Lima and Lars Myklebust for taking the time to read through and comment on my paper. And also thank you to Maria Kolnes Lie and Marthe Morland for cheering me on. I would like to thank Musikselskabet Larmonien, you are all the best group of friends I could ask for. And last but not least, I want to thank my family for always supporting me. I am especially thankful to my grandmother Kari Lundervold, whose advice and positive energy mean the world to me.

–  –  –

SUMMARY IN NORWEGIAN

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

LIST OF FIGURES:

LIST OF TABLES:

1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Aim and Scope

1.2 Why films and television series?

1.3 Research questions and hypotheses

1.4 Harry Potter and A Game of Thrones

1.4.1 Harry Potter

1.4.2 A Game of Thrones

1.5 The categories studied

1.6 Previous Research

1.7 The structure of the thesis

2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

2.1 Attitudes

2.1.1What is an attitude?

2.1.2 Attitude structure

2.1.3 Attitudes and behaviour

2.2 Attitudes to Language

2.2.1 Language attitudes

2.2.2 Stereotypes

2.2.3 Standard language ideology

2.2.4 The Media

2.3 Methodology

2.4 Attitudinal studies

2.4.1 Societal Treatment Studies

2.4.2 Attitudes towards English

3 DATA AND METHOD

vi 3.1.1 Written material

3.1.2 Spoken material

3.1.3 Character selection

3.1.4 Selecting the data

3.2 Linguistic categories

3.2.1 Received Pronunciation (RP)

3.2.2 London English – Cockney

3.2.3 Estuary English

3.2.4 West Country English

3.2.5. Northern English

3.2.6 Scottish English

3.2.7 Irish English

3.2.8 Welsh English

3.2.9 English with foreign accents





3.3 Non-linguistic categories

3.3.1 Character role

3.3.2 Maturity

3.3.3 Gender

3.3.4 Level of sophistication

3.3.5 Other character traits

3.4 Analysis

3.4.1 Quality, not quantity

3.4.2 Limitations

4 ANALYSIS

4.1 General overview

4.1.1 Accents

4.1.2 Gender

4.1.3 Maturity

4.1.4 Level of sophistication

4.1.5 Other character traits

4.1.6 Character role

4.2. Received Pronunciation

4.3 Cockney

vii

4.4 Estuary English

4.5 Northern English

4.6 Scottish English

4.7 Irish English

4.8 Foreign English

4.9 West Country and Welsh English

4.10 Unidentifiable

4.11 Food for thought

5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusions – Is there a Game of Attitudes?

5.3 Limitations

5.4 Future research

LIST OF REFERENCES

FILMOGRAPHY

–  –  –

Figure 2.1 Status and solidarity table from Hiraga’s (2005) study…………………….

.33 Figure 2.2 Table with main results from Coupland and Bishop’s (2007) study………..35 Figure 2.3 The main results from Ladegaard’s (1998) verbal guise test……………….37 Figure 4.1 General overview, accents…………………………………………………..54 Figure 4.2 General accent distributions within gender…………………………………55 Figure 4.3 Gender distribution………………………………………………………….58 Figure 4.4 A comparison between children and adults in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones

Figure 4.5 Distribution, level of sophistication……………………………………….

..63 Figure 4.6 Distribution of sympathetic and unsympathetic characters, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones……………………………………………..66 Figure 4.7 Comparison of good and evil in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones………69 Figure 4.8 Distribution of character roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones……..70

LIST OF TABLES:

Table 4.1 General overview, accents…………………………………………………….

54 Table 4.2 General gender distributions…………………………………………………..55 Table 4.3 Gender distribution, Harry Potter…………………………………………….56 Table 4.4 Gender distribution, Game of Thrones………………………………………..57 Table 4.5 Distribution, children………………………………………………………….59 Table 4.6 Distribution, adults………………………………………………………….....60 Table 4.7 Distribution, level of sophistication, Harry Potter……………………………62 Table 4.8 Distribution, level of sophistication, Game of Thrones……………………….63 Table 4.9 Distribution of sympathetic and unsympathetic characters, Harry Potter…….64 Table 4.10 Distribution of sympathetic, unsympathetic characters, Game of Thrones......65 Table 4.11 General distribution of good and evil, Harry Potter…………………………67 Table 4.12 General distribution of good and evil, Game of Thrones…………………….68

–  –  –

1.1 Aim and Scope The aim of this thesis is first and foremost to see whether or not there are consistent similarities of language attitudes portrayed in films and television. To this, end a societal treatment study is carried out and the eight films of the Harry Potter franchise and the first season of Game of Thrones provide the data material.

The fact that actors use accents to portray different characters is already established and some research has already been done with regard to this cf. for instance Lippi-Green’s (1997) study on animated Disney films. The aim of this thesis is to see if there is a systematic correlation between the two franchises under study – in their use of accents. The main hypothesis for this thesis is that such a correlation can be found, and that similarities can be found not only within Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, but also between the two franchises.

A second aim for this thesis is to see whether or not there are similarities between the results found in this study and previous research done with regard to language attitudes. In order to do this, the main results from three attitudinal studies are included in chapter 2, and the results of these studies are compared with the results from this study to see if the main tendencies are the same. The three studies are, however, not societal treatment studies unlike the present thesis, as no societal treatment studies aimed at British English have been found.

Even though the two main aims of the thesis have been stated, there are several different questions that are relevant to this study. For instance whether more language attitudes, and different ones, are found in Game of Thrones, as this television series clearly aims at a more adult audience than Harry Potter, whose target group is children and teenagers. Another question in the same vein is if the attitudes come across differently in Harry Potter than Game of Thrones. This is relevant because there are more children in the films than in the television series. This could have an impact on the findings, as the children might not be able to portray different accents other than their own.

1.2 Why films and television series?

Whether or not the attitudes portrayed by popular media have an influence on people is widely discussed, and there is no universal agreement on the topic. Lippi-Green’s (1997)

–  –  –

This study was conducted in 1997 and only films made prior to 1995 were included in the corpus. In her MA thesis Sønnesyn (2011) recreated the study using newer films in an attempt to see whether there were similar findings in a newer corpus. She discovered that although the stereotypes were still represented, there was also an increase in characters speaking General American (GA). She argued that this could suggest that the pressure of being more politically correct might have had an influence on Disney’s portrayal of cartoons.

Both the Harry Potter films and the Game of Thrones series were made recently, indeed the last film in the Harry Potter series premiered in 2011, the same year as Game of Thrones was first aired. A reason for choosing to research language attitudes in films and television series is therefore to see whether or not stereotypical views are still portrayed in the film and television industry, and if so to what extent.

1.3 Research questions and hypotheses

The research questions for the present thesis are as follows:

a) Is there a systematic correlation between character traits and accents portrayed in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones respectively?

b) Are accents and character traits similarly portrayed in the Harry Potter films and the television series Game of Thrones?

c) How do the results from the present study compare to previous research conducted in the area of language attitudes?

The hypotheses for the present study are as follows:

–  –  –

1.4 Harry Potter and A Game of Thrones 1.4.1 Harry Potter The seven Harry Potter books were written by J.K. Rowling and published by the Bloomsbury Publishing House. The first book was released in 1997 and the seventh in 2007, here listed in chronological order: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). Warner Bros Pictures distributed the eight Harry Potter films, the seventh book was divided into two films, and the films were released between 2001-2011. The films bear the same titles as the books, and they loosely follow the same plot, although some 4 changes are made for the films, which in turn affect how much speech time each of the characters get.

The plot of the book series follows the journey of an orphan boy named Harry Potter as he grows up. The first book starts as Harry Potter turns eleven and finds out that he is a wizard and that he has been accepted at the boarding school Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We follow him, his teachers, friends and enemies throughout the seven years he attends the school. We also watch as he struggles to defeat the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, or as several people in the wizard community usually call him, He who must not be named.

1.4.2 A Game of Thrones



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